Driven to Ink
Karen E. Olson
Obsidian, Sep 7 2010, $6.99
In Las Vegas, Brett Kavanaugh is a tattoo artist who caters to a high class clientele. Her store, The Painted Lady, is located in an upscale mall unlike her prime rival Jeff Coleman, who owns Murder Ink in an out of the way strip mall next door to a bail bondsman. When Sylvia Coleman wants to marry Bernie Applebuam, Brett lends them her car so they can drive to the chapel served by several Dean Martin imitators.
The day after she retrieves her vehicle, Brett hears a thump in the trunk. When she opens it inside is a dead Dean Martin actor. Underneath the human corpse is the remains of a rat. The victim is Ray Lucci who worked at the chapel where Sylvia and Bernie got married. Around his neck is a clip cord missing from a room of one at Brett’s tattoo artists. Additionally the honeymooners are missing and not on their honeymoon. Brett and Sylvia’s son Jeff investigate as she feels violated and both worry that the newlyweds and all the Martin impersonators may be in danger, but the scenario escalates dangerously when another person is killed.
Driven to Ink is a delightful amateur sleuth mystery that focuses on a Vegas that tourists rarely visit. Readers see Sin City through the eyes of residents who know what lies beneath the glitter and glamour of the Strip. This is a multilayered plot with so many twists that the audience will struggle with who the killer is nothe motive. Karen E. Olson provides a refreshing mystery with a touch of whimsy as readers shout: will the real Dean Martin please stand up.